S.As Productivity Increases

Published on 17th May 2005

 $ 1 billion still trapped

Abuja - Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said that about N140 billion ($1 billion) out of the identified N420 billion ($3 billion) stashed away in foreign bank accounts by the late military leader General Sani Abacha, are still trapped abroad. \"Of the Abacha money, $3 billion was identified over time of which about $2 billion has so far come, starting during the time of Gen Abdulsalam Abubakar, and it continued up to President Obasanjo\'s time and a total of about $2 billion has been recovered. \"But we keep looking everywhere and inviting all other Nigerians, if you see where any money is stashed please let us know. We are not resting. The president has been on this. We have people called forensic accountants who have been looking and trying to identify this money and we have some success like I mentioned. And we are encouraging those countries that have the money to please repatriate them,\" she said.

“Pay arrears,” IMF tells ROC government

Brazzaville - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said the Republic of Congo (ROC) government should spend more of its budget on reducing poverty, paying salaries and pensions as well as student scholarships, given its increased oil earnings. \"Our strong recommendation to the Congolese authorities is to develop a workable timetable for paying all arrears [the government owes its citizens],\" Dan Ghura, the assistant head of the African Division of the IMF, told a news conference on Friday in the ROC capital, Brazzaville. He held the news conference at the end of the first review mission of a three-year economic and financial programme that the IMF Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility had approved in December 2004.

 S.As Productivity Increases

Johannesburg-Smarter working practices and a better measurement of productivity have seen SA\'s productivity rate growing at more than 3% a year since 1996, says the National Productivity Institute. This continued rise in productivity has laid the basis for S.A\'s improved international competitiveness. This SA has improved its ranking from 49 to 46 out of 60 countries and regions according to the latest World Competitiveness report compiled by the Swiss-based Institute for Management Development. Out of four categories measuring S.A\'s efforts to be more competitive against other countries, the country showed a decline in three since last year\'s rankings. Apart from a sharp improvement in economic performance, areas such as business efficiency, government efficiency and infrastructure development had actually declined in comparison with other countries. These declines showed that despite the productivity gains made over the past few years, the country should continue to strive to improve its competitiveness, Mosai said.


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